South Africa ‘a country at war’ as murder rate nearly 49 people a day

crime in South Africa

According a news report, South Africa’s murder rate has jumped 4.6% in the past year, with almost 49 people killed every day.

A total of 17,805 murders were committed from April 2014 to March 2015, an increase of 782 deaths from the year before in a population of 54 million.

The government admitted authorities were struggling to tackle the problem, but said the 10-year trend showed a decline in overall crime. Opposition parties and analysts criticized the numbers and said there was a lack of clear strategy to bring crime under control.

The murder figures, which have risen each year from a low of 15,554 in 2011-12, reflect a reversal of what many had hoped was a long-term progress in reducing violent crime.

“17,805 is a number I would expect from a country at war,” Dianne Kohler Barnard, shadow police minister of the main opposition, Democratic Alliance, commented in September, 2015 and up to now, the rate is still increasing day by day.

More than 50,000 sexual offences were reported to South African police last year, but the number of sexual victims willing to report these crimes has dropped by 21% from 2011 to 2014, according to a national survey on victims of crime, carried out by Statistics South Africa, a government agency.

That robberies have increased raises questions about the extent to which police resources are being effectively used. With some of the best technology in the world, and more than 194,000 personnel, the South African police service should be better able to reduce crimes such as robbery.

2 days ago, thousands of protesters rallied outside Johannesburg’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday as South African President Jacob Zuma faces charges for misuse of state funds. The crowds gathered outside the court building and marched through the city while chanting and holding up placards reading “Pay back the money.” The spending scandal was brought to the court by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), an opposition party, last year. It demanded an investigation into $23 million (€20.4 million) in public funds spent on the renovation of the president’s house.

(Siyimbali online reporter: February 11, 2016)

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